Pubdate: Thu, 12 Jul 2012
Source: Colfax Record (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Gold Country Media
Author: Nancy Hagman


Distribution of Pot in Violation of Federal Laws, U.S. Attorney

The federal government has taken action to enforce the federal
Controlled Substances Act in Colfax. Last week, Assistant U.S.
Attorney Kevin C. Khasigian, head of the Eastern District of
California of the Department of Justice, sent a certified letter to
longtime Colfax property owner Gilbert Dalpino.

Dalpino owns the property and leases out the building, located on
Highway 174, which houses the Golden State Patient Care Collective, or
GSPCC. According to Robert Miller, of the Placer County public
information office, the GSPCC is the sole medical marijuana dispensary
in the county.

In the letter, provided to the Colfax Record by Dalpino's daughter
Nicolette Dalpino  who manages the family property in town  Khasigian
advises Dalpino that the distribution of marijuana is in violation of
federal law. The letter also states that the continued use of the
property in such violation "may result in forfeiture and criminal or
civil penalties." It advises that Dalpino consult an attorney
regarding the letter.

Khasigian's letter concludes saying that the Department of Justice
(DOJ) will vigorously enforce the prohibitions against the
distribution of marijuana, even if such activities are permitted by
state law and that "those who allow their property to be used for such
activities do so at their peril."

Nicolette Dalpino said her father  who lives in Corte Madera  is
investigating his options, which he feels is everything from doing
nothing to giving the tenants notice to move.

The GSPCC opened over eight years ago, with approval from the city as
a medical marijuana distribution cooperative. A 2009 city ordinance
prohibited future medical marijuana dispensaries.

Clients must have certification of identification and prescription to
even be allowed in the door of the facility. The collective pays city
license fees and all the products have sales tax levied. The facility
employs nine people.

The GSPCC owners declined to make a statement at this time as they
have not received formal communication from Dalpino. They prefer to
investigate their options before making any comment.

Sgt. Ty Conners said the GSPCC has been free of incidents since he
took command of the sheriff's substation in Colfax last December.

"There have been no service calls to the property since I started my
watch and there has been no indication, so far, that action from other
agencies may be forthcoming," Conners said. He did point out that
future follow through by the DOJ could certainly occur.

Closure of the "state legal" GSPCC, according to City manager, Bruce
Kranz would be the "same as the loss of any small business  loss of
revenue to the city."

Councilwoman Suzanne Roberts said she would not have voted for the
business to be allowed in the first place, saying, "We have to abide
by federal law; it trumps state law."

No further comment was available from Khasigian's office. Mary Wenger,
spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Sacramento, said,
"Because it is an ongoing investigation we cannot comment." She did
emphasize, however, that the action is not just statewide, but a
nationwide effort to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.
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